A victim of a man who pretended to be a rent boy to blackmail him out of thousands of pounds has said he nearly took his life due to the abuse.
Robert Bain told victims he would reveal their sexuality to their families if they did not hand over cash.
He told one victim he would frame him as a child abuser and leak details of his private life online and in the local newspaper.
Bain managed to con £16,000 out of another man by claiming he had a sick child and needed care, before threatening him with gangsters.
One of the victims said: “The effects will remain with me for some time yet and may never go away.”
Another man said he had been forced to take out pay-day loans and use inheritance from his grandfather to cover the debts demanded by Bain.
In a victim statement, the man said: “I feel I can’t trust anyone and I’m paranoid I will be taken advantage of.
“He had no right to take advantage of my good nature the way he did. He made me live in fear.
“The difficulties will remain with me for some time yet and may never go away.”
Bain met one of his victims while they were waiting to meet a male escort and pretended he was the sex worker.
After Bain and the man walked off together Bain claimed to be from a group called Protectors of the North and told him, “You are going to get caught, you are a paedo, a nonce,” before demanding cash.
The victim gave him £200 and hoped that Bain would go away, but he later turned up at his house and demanded more cash.
Prosecutor Mark Giuliani told the court: “He said things would be put on the internet that would identify him as a homosexual man.
“He said to him he was going to put things online and in the [Newcastle] Evening Chronicle, saying he was going to out him, he was going to say he was a paedo, a nonce, and f****t.”
The victim handed over a total of £1,260 before he finally refused to pay.
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He went to see his family later that day and broke down as he explained the blackmail, revealing to his family that he is gay.
The victim said in a statement he was “frightened and terrified” during the ordeal and added: “I feel I will live with this for the rest of my life.”
Another victim said he believed Bain was also gay and disguising his sexuality.
Bain pocketed £15,797 from the second victim.
Bain, of no fixed address, but formerly of Gateshead, pleaded guilty to blackmail in relation to both victims and fraud and theft in relation to another accusation.
Judge Simon Batiste sentenced Bain to six years behind bars and said his behaviour was “wicked.”
The judge said: “Eventually, one man, went inside and told his family what was happening and the fact he was gay.
“As a result of this offence he, in fact, had to out himself to his family.”
Rachel Hedworth, defending, said Bain has a long term drug habit, which is at the root of his long criminal record, and is “extremely remorseful” for his actions.